Bullying complaint lodged at Nanaimo city hall

NANAIMO – An independent investigator is reviewing relations on city council and between city council and staff.

An independent investigator is looking into a complaint of bullying and harassment at city hall, according to Mayor Bill McKay.

The City of Nanaimo has hired an independent investigator to look into the behavior of city council.

McKay confirmed on Friday that a probe has been launched into relations among councillors and between council and staff after a city politician advised the city manager he or she felt bullying and harassment was happening among council members.

The news comes  as council works with a facilitator from The Integrity Group, hired by the mayor to help councillors get along.

The new probe, ongoing since September, is being overseen by the city’s lawyer who hired the investigator.

Neither the mayor nor city manager Ted Swabey will say who made the complaint and the cost is not known, although it’s expected to come out of the legal budget. It’s also a personnel issue, so the mayor said his comments have to be limited and the results will be released in a closed meeting.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to go through this process, but it’s demanded under WorkSafeBC regulations that the employer, that any employer, must provide a workplace that is free from bullying and harassment and there is an allegation that we have not done that,” said McKay.

Swabey told the News Bulletin an independent investigator has been hired in the past to review staffing issues but this is the first time he’s aware of that council has been included.

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